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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    so my dome light stays on after i shut the door and also my alarm just up and decides to go off by itself. From some net research I see the dome light problem is very common for this first fix attemtp is generous wd-40 on the door latch/ switch. Anyone else have any problems or issues with dome lights?
  • jtkz13jtkz13 Posts: 51
    Just a little FYI, they had to replace my longblock due to it blowing the spark plug out of the threads and cracking the head. It was like $4500 for the engine & install, so they aren't cheap.

    Fortunately mine only had 28,000 miles on it, and it was replaced within a week. I've got 68k on it now and it's been great since.

    Also, you won't get a "new" engine, it will be "remanufactured". This is actually a good thing, because reman engines are spec'd and inspected better than new, or so I've been told by numerous trusted mechanics and engine builders.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    who responded to my headlight problem...the clear lens looks quite similar to my Intrepid, but my Intrepid could light up Yankee stadium for a night game on a foggy night, and my Sable just ain't got the "light-power"...(lumens?)...bulbs aimed properly, just insufficient light...makes me want to test drive my next vehicle at night, just for that reason...I would think that, after all these years, something like "illumination technology" would be a no-brainer for automakers, kinda like the design of the brake and gas pedal, how much "refinement" do they need???...and, if lights are "getting better" where was Ford at the time???...just the fact that the new design was 20% better than the old ought to tell Ford something is wrong...I find this annoying, but only at night...:):):)
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Roughly, what is the expected mileage you should get on the factory equipped tires on a 2002 Taurus SES before they should need replacement? 30,000 miles? 50,000 miles?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Unless you are a very aggressive driver, I would expect you would get at least 50,000 out of the OEM tires. I have 25K on my 2000 Taurus with Continental brand OEMs and they have a lot of tread left.

    They seem to be adequate on dry pavement and good on snow, but it is quite easy to spin the wheels on acceleration on wet pavement. The Duratec and my foot, however, is partly responsible for this.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Marsha before buying car I would recommend to make research so you know all pros and cons and make right choice. I knew about lights and breaks before buying the car and it wasn't ussiue for me. Good place to go is Also is good to read comparos. E.g. pros and cons of Sable: - vip

    1. Successful styling
    2. Improving overall quality
    3. Roomier cabin and trunk
    4. Adjustable pedals (SE, SEL)
    5. Increased storage space
    6. Attractive presentation (SE)
    1. High price, numerous options
    2. Mediocre suspension and tires
    3. Hindered rear-seat access
    4. Mediocre braking without rear discs and ABS
    5. Limited 3/4 rear visibility
    6. Inefficient headlights
    7. Lack of rear-seat headrests
    8. Numerous equipment details omitted

    I agree about all cons except "high price", "Mediocre suspension" and "Numerous equipment details omitted". Yeah this guy buys car for MSRP I guess.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I disagree with 1,2,3,5,6 and 8. Brakes number 4 I also partially disagree with, ABS is standard on the SES and SEL, and while braking may not be quite up to some of the competition, would only be an issue if pushed to the extreme limits. Rear disc brakes are an overrated feature as well, as the vast majority of braking force comes from the front wheels.

    I strongly disagree with Con 1, unless he is just looking at MSRP, not the great value you get with the dealer discounts and factory rebates. Just try to find 200 Hp minimum V-6 sedan for about $18K-$19K from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, or VW. Even Impala with the 200HP 3.8 pushrod V-6 won't match that price point.

    Suspension I find to be just right for a family sedan, taught and well controlled but not punishing on rough roads. Maybe the OEM tires could be better, but this is the case with almost all OEM tires, not just Taurus/Sable.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Some comments on those cons:

    1. High price, numerous options

    Ridicilous about price, it has nothing to do with reality. There is no numerous options. Japanese have numerous options.

    2. Mediocre suspension and tires

    Suspension is tight and comfortable enough. Probably he means that it is more simple design than competition, but simple doesn't necessarily mean bad. Actually for simple design it has it is very good.

    3. Hindered rear-seat access
    Don't know what does it mean. I have no problems.

    4. Mediocre braking without rear discs and ABS
    That is true if you are making panic stop, but otherwise in every day life it is adequate. About ABS I don't know - never came to point ABS be involved - California is rather dry place.

    5. Limited 3/4 rear visibility
    That is true - because of thick C-pillars it's a challenge to back the car.

    6. Inefficient headlights
    Thats true.

    7. Lack of rear-seat headrests
    Have no problem with it, but that is true too.

    8. Numerous equipment details omitted

    Don't know what does it mean. Actually there more than enough of equipment and features for that price. It is not luxury car after all and doesn't cost 30 grands like Camry.

    One more thing to add - it is hard to find good driving position. Seats are not as comfortable as in Volvo. They have to learn from Volvo instead from Camry. Camry has a similar problem. Nissan is very good in this aspect. There is virtually no lateral support, and lumber support is not designed good.
  • ssartorissartori Posts: 15
    Well folks the day after I posted my issues (never a problem, always issues) I had to stop by the dealer to pick up my poncho and umbrella out of the trunk of my Sable. Yes, it was still sitting on the lift, but, the front end was back in it, and the dealership just took possession on a long block (everything but the intake manifold) for my car! ESP finally came through, and the dealership said I should be getting my car back next week sometime.

    As for the price the service rep told me that cost of the engine is indeed about $2,500 and change… So jtk13 was right if you add in the labor. I guess I was going by the Auto Zone Ads at $849 for an engine. I always have a hard time reading the fine print.

    About loyalty, I have to say I will try to buy from this dealer again though our next vehicle will be a mini van and probably will be a Windstar or a GMC Safari. Need it to tow our pop up camper. Just can’t do a Villager. I did hear that Mercury is going to have a Windstar clone this fall but heard it will really be upscale and up priced. Probably like the Windstar SEL. $30,000 – $35,000, would love it if I could afford it. Man a 35,000 mini van… Who would of thunk it… I really am pleased with the dealership. They went to bat for me and even gave me loaners though out this ordeal. It’s a small dealership with 4 mechanics but it was like working with a friend / family. Maybe that’s why Ford ESP was playing hardball with them. If it were a mega dealership, Ford would have had a lot more to lose. It was great when you can walk into the owner's office ask if he has heard from the regional office yet. But they need to have the product the customer wants and can afford.

    So it looks like Ford came through, but very unfortunate that I had to witness the stupidity of an American Company and it’s attitude toward their customer, & their dealer. Something that started almost a year ago and being with out a car for 6 weeks while the dealership and Ford haggled about a repair reimbursement is just POOR business. This has left a bad taste in my mouth even to the point that I asked the owner to dump the Lincoln Mercury franchise and pick up a GM.

    I just hope it all goes back together and it works! Oh ya and no oil leaks..
  • jtkz13jtkz13 Posts: 51
    Glad to hear it has worked out. I bet that remanfactured Duratec outlasts the car.

    When will Ford realize people get more pissed when the car is broken and won't be covered, as opposed to being broken in the 1st place.

    I've had multiple small problems with mine, but to be honest I don't remember half of them. Ya know why? Because the dealership took care of them the 1st time and without making a big deal of it. The crazy thing is that the dealership I went to for warranty work isn't even the place I bought the car new. :D
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    I had the same problem. The dealer replaced the door switch. Very common problem. If you check this board and the repair board for Taurus you'll see it comes up every once in awhile.

    There was another post about oil leaks and getting rid of the car. It could be something minor, like a valve cover gasket or the oil drain plug not being tight.I would say the ssartori's problem is not common. Although it does seem the DURATECs are the engines that fail on this board. I don't recall reading about engine failures with the Vulcan.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Yesterday I was driving dark street ('02 Sable) and didn't feel shortage of illumination. Though comfort level may be different for different people.

    Low beams are for street driving only . If you are driving country road you have to use high beams.
  • gwizzgwizz Posts: 8
    Hello All - I'm now the proud owner of a slightly used loaded 2000 Taurus sedan with the DOHC 24v engine. So far I am very pleased with it- Nice car.

    The dealer did NOT have the owner's manual or security code info. I found an owner's manual .pdf here on the net ( and downloaded it, where it mentions the factory security code for the keyless entry option is on the computer module.

    I can't find the computer module in this car! There is a fuse box below the dashon the driver's side, also another under the hood up front , but nothing that looks like it has a 5-digit security code taped to it.

    Can someone tell me where to look for the factory security code on this car?

  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    congrats on getting your way. Be aware that the Windstar in its first model year was one of the biggest lemons on the market. I don't know how many yeara ago that was, but it's good to wait a few model years on any new product, especailly one with that many problems. If you are looking to shell out $30K, in my opinion you should also check out the new Toyota Sienna. I think it's going to take market share away from some other makes, including the Odyssey.
  • ohio7ohio7 Posts: 67
    I, too, am the original owner of a 2000 Taurus SEL with just over 17,000 miles. I only drive 6 miles a day. I can't help you find the original code to the door key pad. Mine was on a small card stuck inside the manual. I moved it to the consol. What you can do, though, is read the section of the manual that tells you how to set your own numbers - one that you will remember. I have my own code and the factory-set one. Both can be used; however, the factory-set one can never be changed.

    This feature is one of my favorites on the car. I am notorious for leaving my keys in the ignition. How wonderful to just punch in a code. It can also open the back doors and the trunk.

    Couldn't the dealer point out where the factory code is, or, isn't there a way to use the VIN # to get the matching door code? Seems that there should be some way. I'd ask the former owner, if available, what it was.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    the ignition coil(s) finally gave away in my jetta. i know these cars are not a paradigm of reliability. VW gave me a taurus for a loaner car (there's a ford dealership across the street). it had the base engine.

    my expectations were low and they stay that way. the engine is an absolute dog. the new four bangers from the accord and camry are much better. for those of you who say theses engines get buzzy at illegal highway speeds haven't driven them.

    the interior decor is yucky and cheap looking. this is one area where it really shows how old the design is.

    the window sticker was in the glove compartment and to my astonishment this car is priced higher than an accord lx 4 cyl. the "real" selling price of the taurus is most likely lower though.

    it's no mystery to me why these cars sell at such huge discounts. what is a mystery is ford's new slogan: have you driven a ford lately, you'll be pleasantly surprised (or something like that).
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    He also has a language problem--I think he means paragon rather than paradigm.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    But thats true, basic Taurus powertrain is ancient compared to Japanese or German 4 cylinder and nothing exciting. Interior details also is not up to Honda, Toyota or VW.

    But again Jetta being small econobox costs the same as middle class Taurus and it is not paragon of quality or sport sedan eigther. And it doesn't worth it. Just yesterday my friend rolled down power window on her Jetta to pay on San mateo toll bridge and it didn't come back. She get frozen while commuting and car was out of warranty. Not being major failure it still was expected and very unpleasant one, so you may think twice before buying VW - do you want your car stall on freeway or you get frozen when power window fails suddenly. Both happen 100% on Jettas and repeatedly.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    There is no doubt that there is constructive criticism and plain aggression which is used with the sole purpose to inflict pain and cause anger.

    Why would anybody put put down a brand name that every one owns here. But what is more, what is the motivation and what pleasure does he get out of it? Perhaps is gloating or a boost to his inflated ego.

    This is a Taurus/Sable thread. Take your junk yard jetta and get out of here! Get help and take a hike as far as your jetta can take you, when it gets out of the shop.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    econobox. in terms of size, yes. but this car has the same quality of materials and assembly workmanship as the passat. its 1.8t is also the same engine used in the passat and it's also available with a 200hp v6. it's a very quiet and solid feeling car.

    my next car will likely be an accord and my comments were pertaining to how the taurus is lacking compared to an accord.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    I agree about Golf/Jetta. It used to set a class standart. There is even such a notion as a Golf-class in Europe denoting all vehicles of this class like Focus, Astra and etc.

    But again Taurus also has solid feeling and quiet and is comfortable, powerful and a much bigger in size. Ford was lagging in engine development keeping engines like Vulcan. I think Vulcan powertrain is one of the reasons why Taurus turn to be rental car darling. It is not sophisticated enough to be desirable for many people. But chassy is pretty good and feels more sophisticated than really is. Steering also seems okay, but again some people like lighter or heavier feeling, more or less sharp. I prefer road feeling of my Sable to overkill smoothness of Camry or harshness of Altima.

    Still talking about Jetta it is better to compare it to Golf-class vehicles. I don't remember that Jetta or Golf won any comparo test lately mainly because of its high price and aging platform. Such an old design cannot cost so high. There are newer (and more reliable) cars in this category that cost much less.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    the taurus is much roomier and a more trouble free car than a jetta. lets keep it at that.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Where is everybody?
    Did you guys sell your Taurus/Sables? :))

    Don't forget that a thread without activity will be closed by the people at
    Please come back and keep discussing our chosen brands of automobile!
  • ohio7ohio7 Posts: 67
    I haven't seen any action here since 18 May. I thought that it was my computer connection. Apparently my government computer won't accept cookies for this site anymore so I thought that I got shut out. Maybe everyone is on a early vacation.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Went to a conference in Naples, Florida for 3 days, then added a couple days vacation with my wife. To busy last week to post.

    We rented a Mitsubishi Galant ES 4 cyl. National Car Rental had a lot of them. It was OK, but I prefer having headlight switches on the dash instead of the left stalk, and prefer the wiper switches on the left stalk instead of a stalk on the right. Cruise switch was also a bit funky, and trunk was too small, but since this car is much smaller overall, I suppose I should expect that. Otherwise it had acceptable acceleration--you really had to stomp it and get it revved up to get much out of it.

    On another note, I have begun to detect a slight suspension clunk(ir maybe exhaust system?) on my 2000 Taurus when going over bumps. It seems to be worse when starting out cold and then becomes almost nonexistent after a few miles. I cannot determine if it is coming from the front or rear. Anyone else have anything like this and get it fixed? I am still under warranty until October, so have time to get it fixed, but it might help if there is a common issue that I can direct them to.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Is 2003 or 2004 the last year you can buy a new Taurus? Even though Ford will continue to make the Taurus for a few more years, I heard they will stop selling them to consumers sometime soon.
    They will only be sold to fleets (car rental agencies, government agencies, large businesses for company cars etc.).
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I Had my Taurus into dealer service dept last night. They found and fixed the problem quickly-I was there less than 45 minutes. They replaced the front stabilizer (sway bar) connecting links. Problem is solved and since I was still under warranty, no cost to me. Based on the statement, I would have paid $82.33 if it wasn't under warranty.

    So, if you start hearing suspension clunks, the connecting links may be the culprit.

    Service was fast and professional and service department has excellent hours, 7AM-11PM weekdays and 8AM-5PM Saturday. I got the car in for service on the same day I called.
  • sdiorisdiori Posts: 20
    Hi all. I was speaking with a relative of mine who is in college, and he asked me if buying a 2001 Taurus SES w/ 27,000 miles on it was a more safe bet than a '95, '96 Accord w/ 80-90k miles on it. (He's trying to spend 8-10k dollars).

    The question itself may seem a bit ridiculous at first, but I honestly didn't know how to answer it. Because I've only driven GM's I've have grown sour of ANY American manufactured automobile. Being that this is the Taurus forum, how have your experiences been, in regards to reliabilty, w/ your Taurus'.


  • Honda w/many miles vs. Ford with few miles. That's an age old question. Ten years ago I think the answer would be HONDA. But, in my humble opinion, I'd say it's no contest now, go with the FORD. I haven't owned many foreign cars, in fact just two, both VW's (and they ran great). But ANY car with 80-90K miles is due to encounter problems at some point in the not-too-distant future. Even the routine stuff like brakes and hoses is going to catch up more quickly, unless he finds a Honda where that's been done already.

    By the way the other car he might want to consider is a used Grand Prix. I put 100,000 miles on my '97 in two years and it truly ran like a top. I would have put it up against any foreign car in terms of reliability and performance (comparing apples to apples). My 2000 Taurus is a little more hum-drum than the G.P. but it's also cheaper, easier to get into/out-of and a bit roomier than the G.P. (and certainly the Accord). Tell him to go with the Ford.

    My opinion,
  • sdiorisdiori Posts: 20
    Thanx Rob for your input. Ironically, I too considered the Grand Prix, but opted not to share it with him for a chance the car may not be reliable (my GM-phobia).

    The Taurus does seem like the wiser choice of the two, and that's what I think I'll recommend.


This discussion has been closed.